Digital Citizenship Reflection #2

Just when I think I have a good understanding of technology and the many facets, I am hit with new learning. This I am grateful for. This week, my learning was quite vast. I know how dependent I am with technology and how many others are just as thirty and ravenous for it. I was also aware of how important a positive digital footprint is and how it can greatly affect your life, whether personal or business. What was completely new information to me was net neutrality. This was a completely new term to me and I became instantaneously intrigued by the concept. 

Being someone who doesn’t partake in news daily, I am aware that many life-changing and important issues have the opportunity to pass me by. Net neutrality is one of those things. Net neutrality is not a new conversation at all. Wikipedia (2018) defines net neutrality as the principle that Internet service providers treat all data on the Internet equally, and not discriminate or charge differently by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication.  Reardon (2015) sums it up by saying, net neutrality is the idea that all traffic on the Internet should be treated equally. I was so oblivious that my use of the internet as I know could possibly be in jeopardy. Learning about net neutrality revealed to me that I needed to pay more attention to what is going on in the world and not take for granted what I viewed as a basic right. I would have never imagined that Internet providers wanted to control our access to the internet. I also would have never imagined that the government, the FCC conducted precedings over these desires. In 2015, the FCC passed laws prohibiting ISPs to charge extra for speed or block legal content. However, in 2017, there was a vote that repealed the regulations that were put in place. Reardon (2017) suggests, “Without FCC rules and oversight, broadband companies, at least in theory, could limit, restrict or manipulate the types of services and voices you experience online.” ISPs have committed to not limit or restrict services, but the point is they could if they so choose. 

As I continued my research into net neutrality and reading an article by McMahon (2018), I learned that this could have a major impact on education. I was amazed to learn that allowing ISP’s to control internet speed and cost could potentially stunt the growth of students learning online as well as technological innovations, was jaw dropping. Education has made tremendous strides with technology with many schools now having the capability of one to one devices and totally online programs. 

Supporters of net neutrality argue it’s about freedom of speech, I agree. My eyes are now clearly open about net neutrality. The more I dig, the more information I find. Cnet has several articles about net neutrality. I intend to read and learn more as well as keep up with the changes that may come from this appeal. I can’t take for granted my access to the internet. 

References: 

McMahon, W. (2018, January 29). 4 Ways the Net Neutrality Repeal Could Impact K-12 Education. Retrieved December 1, 2018, from https://edtechmagazine.com/k12/article/2018/01/4-ways-net-neutrality-repeal-could-impact-k-12-education

Net neutrality. (2018, November 29). Retrieved December 1, 2018, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Net_neutrality

Reardon, M. (2017, December 14). What you need to know about the FCC’s net neutrality repeal. Retrieved December 1, 2018, from https://www.cnet.com/news/fcc-net-neutrality-repeal-ajit-pai-what-you-need-to-know/

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